Monday, June 11, 2018

Marketing to Satiated Consumers

I have a birthday coming up. My wife asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I said,"nothing" and I meant it. Why? I just bought a new Tesla for myself and we are in the middle of a master bathroom remodel. We have spent enough money for the year as far as I am concerned. Plus, there is absolutely nothing I need. I am at an age at which most people are focused on downsizing and simplification (though we are not quite there yet). However, there is truly nothing I want or need that I don't already have. 

I am aware of how blessed I am. Many people are in a different place. They still have many unmet wants and needs. Certainly, if you have a smaller income or fewer assets or many more mouths to feed and certainly if you are in an earlier life stage in which you are still forming or growing your household, you still may need many physical things. Or, on the other end of the continuum, if you are unable to stop comparing yourself to people who have more than you do, you might want that second home, a more expensive car or a bigger boat. Heaven knows, some billionaires are trading in their 200+ foot yachts for 300+ foot yachts. And they are buying an increasing number of yacht toys - water slides, tenders, helicopters, personal submersibles (submarines),  etc. - for their super yachts.

But for most of the rest of us, at some point in our lives we move from wanting more "things" to spending more of our money (and often more of our time) on services and experiences.  Services can make your life easier, give you more time, remove unwanted tasks, make your life more comfortable and even indulge your senses. Services include lawn care, spa services, baby sitting, pet sitting, pest control, house cleaning, pool cleaning, personal trainers, etc. Experiences include fine dining, travel, concerts, theater, dance performances, comedy improv, wine tastings, massage, flotation therapy, spectator sports, water parks, theme parks, haunted houses, adventure sports, hobbies, etc.

One way for product brands to deal with satiated consumers is to bundle services or experiences with their products. Another is to offer product novelty or more sophisticated products with better aesthetics or otherwise enhanced sensory experiences. Some hotel brands have significantly improved their customer services. Others have added rooftop lounges, swimming pools, hot tubs and bars. Yet others have added unique soothing aromatherapy scents to their hotels. Some products include extended service support. Yet others deliver their products in unique experiential ways. Build-A-Bear is an example of this. While novelty and gimmicks can have a limited life, many restaurants have created unique dining experiences to lure more customers. Consider Opaque, the restaurant in which you dine in the dark or the Ice Restaurant in Dubai or the underwater restaurant at the Hilton Maldives Resort & Spa in the Maldives.  

So, if you have maxed out with your brand's product sales, consider enhancing your brand's offering with services, experiences, enhanced aesthetics or additional sensory elements. 


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